Make Your Own Pancake Syrup

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:47 am on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but warm temperatures have caused maple syrup production to drop, which may mean we’ll all be paying more for maple-y goodness at the breakfast table this year.

When I heard that, I thought immediately of a homemade “maple” syrup recipe in The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. So I doctored the recipe a bit and gave it a try. I have to say, it came out pretty good. It tastes exactly like the pancake syrup you buy in the store, maybe even better than some, and it was easy to make, too.

Best of all, homemade pancake syrup is cheaper than the store stuff. A typical bottle of syrup costs $3-$4, and this recipe costs about $1.60 to make, half the price of the store-bought syrup. Plus, there’s no corn syrup in it.

One thing to note: I added 1 tablespoon of vodka to the mix to prolong the life of the syrup. If you do this, keep in mind there will be a trace amount of alcohol in the pancake syrup that you may not feel comfortable serving at the breakfast table. It’s up to you.

Pancake Syrup

(Makes about 3 cups)


    3 c granulated sugar
    1 1/2 c water
    3 Tbs molasses
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 Tbs butter
    1 tsp maple extract
    1 Tbs vodka (optional)


In a large pot, bring all ingredients to a boil. Stir about 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and mixture turns the color of pancake syrup. Turn off the burner and let cool. (The pancake syrup will thicken as it cools.) Add in the optional vodka and transfer to a bottle. Enjoy!

ETA: For more reading, check out What is maple extract?


Comment by Haley

May 15, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

I made my own maple syrup the whole time my kids were growning up! Just kept refilling a store bought bottle! My recipe was different than this one. Less ingredients.

Comment by Hamza

May 16, 2012 @ 4:30 am

Can I swap maple syrup with honey? Just a thought as I already have everything besides maple syrup.

Comment by mike

May 16, 2012 @ 4:35 am

Umm, the recipe calls for maple syrup as one of the ingredients?

Is that store bought syrup, or the real thing?

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May 16, 2012 @ 4:38 am

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May 16, 2012 @ 5:21 am

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May 16, 2012 @ 6:00 am

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Comment by Jon

May 16, 2012 @ 6:40 am

I recommend substituting maple flavor for the maple syrup.

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

May 16, 2012 @ 7:33 am

Jon and Mike, maple extract is found in the spice/baking aisle of your supermarket. It is not the same as syrup.

Comment by yurko

May 16, 2012 @ 7:55 am

IMHO, Bourbon would be a superior preservative over vodka. Or if one wanted to flavor the syrup, a flavored whiskey or liquor (like chambord) might be nice.

Comment by Christian T. Parker

May 16, 2012 @ 9:40 am

using clarified butter (ghee) would increase the life of the syrup as well

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May 16, 2012 @ 10:30 am

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Comment by Rachel

May 18, 2012 @ 5:37 am

I just made this recipe and I thought it turned out pretty fantastic

Comment by Dave

May 21, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

Have not tried it but am thinking I would add a tiny pinch of ground nutmeg.

Comment by mandy

July 31, 2012 @ 11:37 am

does this get stored in the fridge or at room temperature. my instinct tells me to put it in the fridge even though i don’t put store-bought in the fridge, but i i just want to be sure.

Comment by ben

November 9, 2012 @ 11:14 am

Great Idea!!

I found a similar product at Trader Joes.. “Short Stack Pancake Syrup”.. Tastes great, and had basically the same ingredients.. it was about $2.50 a bottle!

Keep the ideas coming!

Comment by Farzana

January 11, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

Hi ! I just wanted to tell you I just made your syrup EXCEPT I omitted the vodka. I just made 1/4 of the recipe as 3 cups, even 1.5 cups is too much for the two of us. WOW !! It smells and tastes absolutely amazing !! I will never buy syrup EVER. I always have these ingredients in my cupboards and it didnt take no more than 10 minutes to get it togeather and make !! Thanks sooooooo much ! I cant wait for my pancakes tomorrow morning LOL !!

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

January 15, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

Thanks Farzana. I’m glad it worked out for you.

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Comment by Linda Campbell

August 23, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

my mom made pancake syrup with nothing but brown sugar and water and Watkins maple flavoring for all 10 of us kids growing up!!

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